People are inventing new ways of working together on the internet. Decentralised production thrives on blogs, wikis and free software projects. Cyberchiefs focuses on the regulations of these working relationships. It examines the transformation of leadership and expertise in online networks, and the emergence of innovative forms of participatory politics.
What are the costs and benefits of alternatives to hierarchical organisation? Using case studies of online projects or 'tribes' such as the radical Primitivism archive, Daily Kos, the Debian free software project and Wikipedia, this book shows that leaders must support maximum autonomy for participants, and looks at the tensions generated by this distribution of authority.
Mathieu O'Neil is Adjunct Research Fellow at the Australian National University in the Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute, and Principal Researcher at Australia's Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. He has contributed articles to Le Monde Diplomatique and is the author of Cyberchiefs (Pluto, 2009).
Acknowledgments Introduction PART I 1. The Autonomy Imperative 2. The Distribution of Charisma 3. The Tyranny of Structure 4. The Grammar of Justice PART II 5. The Last Online Tribe: primitivism.com 6. The Primary War: dailykos.com 7. The Imperfect Committee: debian.org 8. The Great Sock Hunt: wikipedia.org 9. Online Tribal Bureaucracy Notes Index